2019 Housing Market ends on a positive note with growth expectations for 2020.
Sales of single-family homes in December increased by 40% from one year ago and were 24% lower than in November.
As 2019 winds up we are witnessing conditions that reflect seasonal norms. 2020 will see a tightening of inventory which will balance supply and demand. With more clarity, interest rates projected to hold, we expect this momentum and sustained demand to carry through into 2020 and the latest outlook from the Conference Board of Canada forecasts real GDP growth of 1.8% for 2020 and 1.9% in 2021.
Reviewing the market across Canada helps give me a pulse on our local market as many buyers I work with come from out of Nanaimo. In this report, I have included a few more national statistics with home sales in the Canadian MLS® Systems staying somewhat steady in October which followed a string of monthly increases that began in March.
Sales of single-family homes in September were virtually flat year over year but dipped by 16 per cent from August. However, apartment and townhouse sales rose by 15 per cent and 11 per cent year over year, respectively.
Residential sales in every B.C. region forecast to recover in 2020.
Total home transactions across province expected to rise 11 per cent versus 2019, with average sale prices also predicted to increase in every area.
Sales of single-family homes in May board-wide dropped by 12 per cent but rose by 11 per cent from April. Last month, 459 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 412 the previous month and 519 in May 2018. Sales of apartments dipped by seven per cent year over year while townhouse sales increased by 19 per cent. The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports that on a seasonally adjusted basis, sales in the VIREB area are close to 2014 levels, and current market conditions are expected to continue into the fall.
Guideline B-20 Stress test continues to impact housing sales in BC but Vancouver Island is a bit more sheltered. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, which stretches from North of the Malahat on Vancouver Island, reported sales of single-family homes in February dropped by 28% year over year but were up 10% from January.
Despite lower demand year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up around nine per cent from January 2018. Price increases in individual markets ranged from five per cent in Nanaimo to 17 per cent in Port Alberni. Although Vancouver Island has felt the effects of the mortgage stress test. Also referred as Guideline B-20. The toll on single-family housing sales throughout the province in January dropped by 28 per cent from one year ago, albeit they did rise by 23 per cent from December 2018. General demand is lower while potential Buyers adjust however there still is very little supply in active price points keeping the markets somewhat balanced.
Annual sales of single-family homes in 2018 totalled 4,543, a 19 per cent drop from 2017. However, this reduction reflects the market returning to more normal levels after the robust housing markets witnessed in 2016 and 2017.
Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20), eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent. Despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up 10 per cent from December 2017.
Sales of single-family homes in November on Vancouver Island declined by 28 per cent from one year ago and were 21 per cent lower than in October. Last month, 305 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 384 in October and 426 one year ago. Modest inventory increases are helping The Vancouver Island Real Estate market transition from one favouring sellers to a balanced or near-balanced market. Active listings of single-family homes have dropped each month since hitting this year’s high of 1,418, which occurred in July.
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